Prior oral contraception and postmenopausal fracture: a Women's Health Initiative observational cohort study

Fertil Steril. 2005 Aug;84(2):374-83. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.01.132.


Objective: To test for the possible association of past oral contraceptive (OC) use and incident fracture after menopause.

Design: A prospective cohort of 93,725 postmenopausal women.

Setting: Forty Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical centers across the United States.

Patient(s): Ethnically diverse 93,725 volunteer postmenopausal women, 50 to 79 years old.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): The main outcome was self-reported incident first fracture assessed prospectively by annual questionnaire.

Result(s): The adjusted relative hazard (HR) for fracture among past OC users was 1.07 (95% CI, 1.01-1.15). Among women without any postmenopausal hormone treatment, past OC use for < or =5 years led to an HR of 1.15 (95% CI, 1.04-1.27) and for past OC use >5 years led to an HR of 1.09 (95% CI, 0.97-1.23) compared with never users.

Conclusion(s): This study does not support the idea that past OC use protects against later fracture.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Contraceptives, Oral / administration & dosage*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control*
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / drug effects*
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Women's Health*


  • Contraceptives, Oral